April 18, 2012
Gary Thompson, Stearman pilot/owner, aircraft restoration expert and former Director of Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon
|Join us at our monthly memberships meeting to spend a few minutes with Gary Thompson and catch his passion for building things that fly, his enthusiasm for his projects is immediately contagious. A pilot since his teens and builder and restorer of antique aircraft for himself, museums and investors.|
|Thompson is also familiar with the care and feeding of rare aircraft in a museum setting having served as Executive Director and Curator of the Pearson Air Museum in Vancouver, Washington and Executive Director and Curator for the Howard Hughes HK-1 “Flying Boat” museum in McMinnville, Oregon. He was part of the team that moved the “Spruce Goose” from Long Beach California to McMinnville, Oregon to the Evergreen International Headquarters to build a two hundred million dollar, world class Air Museum presentation. His association with the Hughes project and Jack Real, (personal assistant to Howard Hughes for twenty seven years), has given him a wealth of bizarre stories that will never be in print.|
His passion is evident when he speaks of an eight and a half year odyssey, barnstorming the entire United States four times around, landing in farmer’s fields and selling biplane rides at 20 bucks a pop. Sleeping under the wing and living from ride to ride. The lives he got involved in, the emergencies experienced, the adventure of living on the edge was addictive.
photo by Karyn Taylor
Today, Gary has a shop at Ranchaero Airport in Chico California, where he and his brother Rick have built, restored and fly some twenty six antique aircraft.
Location:Mesa Beverage Company, Inc.
3200 N. Laughlin Road. Santa Rosa, CA
Directions: From Santa Rosa, take Highway 101 North and exit at Airport Blvd. Turn left on Laughlin Road toward the museum. The Mesa building is located on the left side of the street just past the museum and Nob Hill south gate.
|May 16||Allen Morris, USAF and Commercial Pilot, author of the Rogue Aviator (autographed book sales)|
|June 20||Gerald Finton, USAF F-4 Pilot speaking about his Vietnam experiences.|
|July 18||Einar Enevoldson, Founder and Chairman of the Board – The Perlan Project which is building a sailplane that will reach 90,000 feet.|